The city with heart

October 28, 2009 - council meeting minutes



Mayor Gene Allex called the regular meeting of the Danube City Council to order at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28, 2009.  Councilmembers present:  Sharon Lothert, Al Strunc, Les Schneider, Sr., and Ryan Bentley.  Absent: None


Also present:  Public Works Director, Dan Kaufenberg, Brian Beckendorf, Dennis Zieske and Jim Krogman.


A motion was made by Sharon Lothert to approve the agenda, with the following additions:  Under old business:  “street lights,” “boilers,” “insurance,” “2nd Street East property owners,” and under new business: “mailbox and computer,” and “zoning commercial property,” and to close the meeting at the end of the regular meeting to discuss potential litigation.  Les Schneider, Sr. seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Al Strunc to approve the minutes of the both regular council meeting and the public hearing on October 14, 2009.  Lothert seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Jim Krogman was present to ask what the preventative maintenance plan was for 2nd Street East since the council voted not to pave the road.  Specifically, he was concerned about the potholes and dust control.  Krogman requested a contact person and a written plan.  He received an estimate on applying chloride to the road to control the dust.  The person he spoke to said for an 18 ft wide strip, it costs $0.50-$0.60 per foot for the chloride application.  Brian Beckendorf said that the property owners along 2nd Street East understood that the letter previously sent out to them was to vote in favor, or not in favor of paving the road.  Les Schneider, Sr. said the responses to the letter were only to be used to decide whether or not to move forward with the next steps as outlined in laws set by the State of Minnesota.  A heated discussion followed between Schneider, Sr. and the 3 property owners present.  A petition would need to be signed by a certain percentage of the property owners in order to re-start the process of deciding on whether or not to pave the road.  Before they left the council meeting, Beckendorf, Zieske and Krogman all signed a hand written petition to re-start the process.  In the meantime, Dan Kaufenberg, Public Works Director, will call someone to blade 2nd Street East and the Elevator Road.


A motion was made by Sharon Lothert to have another public hearing on paving 2nd Street East on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, at 6:00 p.m.  Les Schneider, Sr. seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 


Dan Kaufenberg, Public Works Director, was present to give his monthly employee report.  The following items were discussed:

·         Kaufenberg received quotes to put in shut offs on the boilers at the school building.  Two non-resettable switches will be put in.  Sullivan’s Electric quoted $1,275 and K & S Electric quoted $1,450. 

·         The school has 700 gallons of fuel oil on reserve.  On a cold day, it can use 1,000 gallons a day.  Kaufenberg will put another 1,000 gallons in. 



·         Kaufenberg asked if Lonny Davis will be hired to oversee his work again this winter.  One other boiler operator is being contacted before the decision is made.  He also asked about being compensated for having the responsibility of working with the boilers.  His pay will be looked at during his annual review in December. 

·         Kaufenberg called Hawkins Water Treatment to look at the chlorine feeder because chlorine was not pumping in Well 3.  The feeder had stress cracks, so Hawkins put a used one in, which can be purchased for $900.  A new feeder would cost $1,100.

·         The City pick-up needs brake work done and two new tires.  If only the front brakes need replacing, it will cost approximately $330.  The front and back brakes would be $560.  Two new tires would cost $86 each.  All quotes are from Danube Auto. 

·         Gene Allex asked about other issues with the pick-up.  Kaufenberg said at times the transmission slams into gear.  Allex suggested getting the transmission serviced.

·         Kaufenberg will check on splitting off one of the boilers so that his current boilers license will be sufficient to run the boilers on his own.

·         The council discussed the mower quotes that Kaufenberg collected.  They agreed that the best deal would be at Schoffman’s Inc. in Redwood Falls.  Kaufenberg will call to get a firm number and have someone come look at the City’s mower for a trade in value. 

·         Al Strunc asked if Hawkins Water Treatment, or someone else, could tell him how to make Danube’s City water drinkable.  Kaufenberg will check into this. 

·         Strunc reported that Ray Barth fixed the roof on the Community Center and asked Kaufenberg to keep an eye on it. 

·         Lothert asked Kaufenberg if he needs texting on his company cell phone. He said he rarely uses it. 

·         Kaufenberg will see if Les Schneider, Jr. got an estimate on the top roof of the school building. 


A motion was made by Strunc to purchase the used chlorine feeder from Hawkins for $900, to have Sullivan’s Electric install the boiler shut offs, and to do the necessary work on the City pick-up.  Schneider, Sr. seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Kaufenberg also reported that he has almost all the water meters replaced, except for one resident that he cannot locate.  The bottom is about to fall out of the dumpster next to the City shop.  The clerk has not had a chance to check to see if the City owns it. 


John Stahl and Larry Zupke were unable to attend the council meeting to discuss the ditch.


Schneider, Sr. called the City Attorney to inquire on some of the charges on the last bill.  The charges were from the Mayor calling the attorney to let him know that the council gave approval for Mahoney to move forward on bringing his garage up to code.  Mahoney has not been living in his house. 


The City Attorney will contact Jerry Hinrichs to see if he can speed up the process of the City getting control of his property that was destroyed in a fire. 


Tap Enterprises called the Clerk to request use of the Community Center for a one day tool sale on November 30.  In the past, Tap Enterprises did not do a good job at cleaning.  Christine, from Tap Enterprises, said there have not been problems with clean up in the recent past, but she wanted council approval to rent the Hall.  The council agreed that it could be used for the tool sale. 


Lothert discussed how much time goes into cleaning the Hall after events, even when the renter cleans up.  Lothert and Strunc thought there should be a flat $50 charge for cleaning that covers up to 3 hours and then billing an additional $15 an hour if more time is taken.  Schneider, Sr. was opposed to charging the non-profit organizations and asked that Lothert keeps track of how much time it takes to clean after each event.


There have been texting charges on the City’s cell phones.  The Clerk will check with the police chief to see if he needs the texting and if not, she will block the texting capabilities. 


DADs (Danube Area Donations) donated $1,000 towards playground equipment for the City’s park.  A thank you will be sent.


Schneider, Sr. informed the council that he inaccurately stated the numbers for the insurance on the school building at the last council meeting.  The savings is still the same at $4,200.  Insurance through LMCIT would be $14,790 and $10,594.42 through Auto Owners Insurance.  Americana Insurance sent in the premium to Auto Owners Insurance and submitted a bill to the City of Danube to be reimbursed.


A motion was made by Sharon Lothert to approve the bills as submitted, in the amount of $8,842.30, in addition to the $10,594.42 to Americana Insurance.  Strunc seconded and the motion carried unanimously, with Schneider, Sr. abstaining.


There are still 3 street lights out on Main Street and one at the intersection of Pine Street and Freedom Lane.  The Clerk will call Xcel Energy.


Schneider, Sr. asked to see a report on built up sick leave pay.  The Clerk will bring that information to the next council meeting. 


Allex asked about the process of zoning property for commercial use due to Coop Country Farmer’s Elevator putting in grain bins on their property on the east edge of Danube.  The Elevator has also inquired about the physical address of their property.  The Clerk will check with Larry Jacobs on these questions.


At 9:55 p.m. Strunc made a motion to adjourn the regular meeting.  Lothert seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


At this time the meeting was closed to discuss potential litigation.



Respectfully submitted:  Sara Wilson, City Clerk

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